26 September 2023

Ladder lapse a step away from injury

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The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) used Father’s Day last Sunday (5 September) to advise older dads that it might be time to take a step off the ladder.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman said that, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the vast majority of the 2,155 people hospitalised in 2016-17 after falling from ladders were men aged 65 and over.

“This is why it is an important reminder for dad to stop, think and put safety first before using a ladder,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Dads, fathers, grandfathers and father-figures all play significant roles in our lives and this Father’s Day we want not just them, but all men to make safe choices when using a ladder to do jobs around the home.”

She said falls from ladders could result in fatal injuries, or significant injuries that could have serious consequences, including a long road to recovery and lasting side-effects.

“The OFT has a wealth of ladder safety resources including the ladder safety brochure and enclosed safety sticker reminder to attach to a ladder at home,” Ms Fentiman said.

“As part of the OFT’s online ladder safety resources there are videos showing the terrible impacts ladder falls have had on the lives of three Australians.”

Ms Fentiman said in one, ‘Mick’ explained how he was using two ladders to trim hedges and, while he knew the ladders were spaced too far apart, he was tired and just wanted to get the job done.

“Subsequently, the ladders gave way and he fell, breaking four ribs, his neck and fracturing five vertebrae,” she said.

“Recovery was long and slow, and not only physical.”

Ms Fentiman said those buying a new ladder should remember to always choose one that met the voluntary Australian Standard.

The OFT’s ladder safety brochure can be downloaded at this PS News link.

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